The Four Seasons in Limassol, Cyprus has been open since 1993 and is independently owned and operated by Muskita Hotels Ltd. It’s a Five Star deluxe property with 304 rooms, 6 restaurants, 4 bars, and extensive conference facilities, Shiseido Spa, a full range of sports and fitness facilities and a shopping area with exclusive boutiques, watches and jewelry. The Hotel is situated on its own sandy beach, which has been awarded with the Blue Flag (a symbol of cleanliness and safety awarded by the European Community) and is 8 kilometers East of Limassol city center.
The Four Seasons’ management is constantly looking for effective ways to build strong relations with its customers and optimize sales programs. The Hotel’s website is its important marketing tool that helps the property to attract and retain elite guests from all over the World.
Mr. Nick Aristou, the property’s Executive Director, decided to enhance the website with an online business chat solution. “Our objective was to make it easy for our customers to navigate the website,” says Mr. Aristou. “Also, we wanted to convert as many visitors into customers as possible by making it easy for them to complete bookings.”
Mr. Aristou, who has a strong technology background, did a thorough review of available products, including such market leaders as LivePerson. However, none of them matched Four Season’s specific needs. The main limitations were the lack of multilingual support, patchy compatibility with tablet users and absence of robust archival features.
Then Mr. Aristou came across LiveWebAssist, a chat solution deployed on the IceWarp site, and realized it was the perfect match. He decided to try it out on the Four Season’s site, but then found out it was not the final release yet. Still, Mr. Aristou went ahead and launched LiveWebAssist at Four Seasons’ webpage, assigning three operators to interact with customers.
From the very beginning, the Four Season’s customer service team was making the most of LiveWebAssist’s multilingual interface and Knowledgebase support features to interact with customers in English, Greek and Russian.. The property’s sales and marketing team started to see LiveWebAssist’s effect almost immediately – the bookings increased.
“LiveWebAssist contributed a lot to this on many occasions,” says Mr. Aristou. “Our analysis showed that customers booked because they were given real-time explanations through the chat service.”
Four Season’s technology team also liked LiveWebAssist’s capability to recognize returning Website visitors.
“The excellent feature helps an operator to resume the conversation from the same spot where it was ended or interrupted,” says Mr. Aristou. “That makes users spend on average 7-8 minutes on the site, a very high indicator.”
In an approach radically different form other chat products, LiveWebAsisst supports the InLine no-flash chat architecture, eliminating pop-up windows. This design allows more visitors to initiate chat sessions, because they don’t have to deal with popup blockers and assures usability for visitors from tablets like iPad or Android.
Additionally, this option gives actionable information about the visitors’ behavior.
“The operators can tell exactly where the user is on the site, so they can offer them immediate assistance, tell them where to go and answer questions with a high degree of relevancy,” says Mr. Aristou. “It’s a very useful feature.”
LiveWebAssist’s analytical capabilities helped the hotel to optimize its Internet marketing strategy.
“LiveWebAssist analytics capabilities are very good,” notes Mr. Aristou. “They are helping us to locate sources our customers are coming from. It’s a very effective tool, especially when used in conjunction with Google analytics.”
Another feature Four Seasons’ team found practical is LiveWebAssist Knowledgebase. At any point of the conversation, it allows to insert pre-approved messages (such as terms and conditions, cancellation policy, etc.) as well as URLs and graphics with a single click.
“It has been very useful, we have almost three pages of knowledgebase content now,” notes Mr. Aristou. “The option provides more professional outlook and helps to standardize responses. Operators don’t have to think about how to phrase them. In the near future, we are planning to extend the knowledgebase with images and, possibly, videos.”
According to Four Seasons’ technology team estimates, the training and ramp-up process was painless.
“The functionality of the program is simple, anybody who can use a social chat program can get accustomed to LiveWebAssist very easily,” notes Mr. Aristou.
For the support function, Four Seasons team used LiveWebAssist Direct Chat Technology, the VIP connection that gives dedicated access to key IceWarp support personnel. This option makes it possible to reach the important contacts no matter where they are – at their desktop, off-site, or on the road.
“The VIP link option has been very useful, and IceWarp support team was very prompt,” says Mr. Aristou.
Four Seasons is now planning to expand LiveWebAssist functionality.
“We are considered using it on mobile devices, and, possibly, integrating the solution with a new CRM system,” says Mr. Aristou.
In the future, the property is thinking about hiring more operators and starting to use LiveWebAssist automated translation functionality.
According to Mr. Aristou’s estimates, LiveWebAssist was showing compelling ROI from the day it was implemented.
“Just from my own observation, from the number of bookings that have been converted directly through LiveWebAssist, I can say that it has paid for itself almost immediately” says Mr. Aristou he would definitely recommend LiveWebAssist to other organizations in the hospitality industry.
“Selling hotel rooms is always a complex matter,” says Mr. Aristou. “Usually, hotel bookings for five+ star hotels are a very high-value item. It’s not a $10-20 purchase from Amazon. They are usually $5,000-6,000 per transactionand there are many issues for potential customers to understand before they actually commit to book. Anything that can give a customer greater confidence and prompt him to make a decision to buy is very valuable. LiveWebAssist gives us exactly that.”
Financial services company BT has begun sending its BT Super for Life customers personalised video superannuation statements.
The tailored videos, thought to be an Australian first, are the latest development by BT helping superannuation customers understand their funds. The video statement includes an animated summary of the customer's transactions for the year, estimates an expected balance and income at retirement based on current contributions and how it compares to a comfortable retirement standard.
The statements also include a calculator so customers can assess their likely retirement outcomes based on different scenarios. BT's Vicki Doyle said the video statements were designed to inform and educate customers and to make it easier for them to make smart choices about their superannuation now.
Customer service IT company Avaya has been awarded the 2014 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Enterprise Networking Customer Value Enhancement Award.
The customer value enhancement award is given to a company which has enhanced customer value through its networking offerings and recorded revenue growth in its networking product line. Criteria include both the business impact achieved – including growth, customer acquisition, growth potential and operational efficiency – and customer impact, based on price performance value, and the customer experience across the entire process.
"Avaya successfully used fabric defined networking as the linchpin of business transformation in a highly competitive networking market," said Frost & Sullivan's Harsh Upadhyay. "Customers across APAC vouch that Avaya's solution is simple, easily deployable, and interoperable with legacy infrastructure."
Sydney, 2 October 2014 – St John Ambulance Western Australia, a charitable, not-for-profit, humanitarian organisation serving the community through first aid, has commenced deployment of the all-in-one IP communications software suite from Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ).
The software suite, Customer Interaction Center™ (CIC), will be deployed at the organisation's State Operations Centre in Perth which houses 35 seats for the Ambulance Operations Centre and 25 seats for administration, including the First Aid Services and Training call centre an IT help desk for the organisation's employees.
The decision to select the Interactive Intelligence solution follows a review of several vendors and will replace a Zeacom legacy phone system which had reached end of life. CIC will help the organisation to improve its overall service through key features, including multi-channel functionality, automatic call distribution, and reporting.
St John Ambulance provides ambulance services across Western Australia's 2.5 million square kilometres, the largest area in the world covered by a single ambulance service. Its contact centres received more than half a million calls last year and is responsible for directing responses to all ambulance incidents throughout WA. At the same time, the First Aid Training contact centre manages course bookings for more than 220,000 people each year.
Ashley Morris, Technical Services Director, St John Ambulance Western Australia, said, "We faced a situation where our incumbent contact centre telephony system was no longer being supported or indeed able to scale with our overall growth in services as an organisation. CIC incorporates rich feature functionality, has robust redundancy and will integrate easily with our existing systems, including our in-house developed Computer Aided Dispatch System."
"At the same time, CIC's single-platform and open software architecture will reduce integration requirements and make it easy to interoperate with our existing phone systems and workflows. In addition, we were also impressed with its one-stop shop call centre functionality and the solution's capacity to support our overall business continuity, including the ability to automatically route calls to a secondary location."
St John Ambulance Western Australia delivers its range of services across Ambulance, First Aid Services and Training, Event Health Services, Industrial Health Services, the Community First Responder System, the College of Pre-Hospital Care and the First Aid Focus program. The organisation expects to reduce ongoing maintenance costs following complete deployment and replacement of its legacy PBX system with Interactive Intelligence.
"The performance of our communications system is a key factor to serving the community. Being the pre-eminent provider of pre-hospital care in Australia, our ultimate aim with CIC is to report increased reliability, improved customer service and efficient handling of first-aid training services. Deploying technology such as CIC supports our quest to making first aid a part of every Western Australian's life and making great use of data for better decision making. It will also be great to partner with Interactive Intelligence which has a stellar reputation in the market," said Morris.
"We are delighted to sign on St John Ambulance Western Australia as a new customer in the state and it is a great example of the tremendous uptick in new customer contracts and business opportunities for Interactive Intelligence in Western Australia from both the public and private sectors. This momentum is also indeed testament to both the technology innovation we provide in helping customers achieve a great consumer experience but also a company commitment to having exemplary management and technical skills locally on the ground in Perth," said Brendan Maree, Vice President Australia, New Zealand and Japan, Interactive Intelligence.